Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: Tea and Dog Biscuits - Warm and Hilarious Rescue Stories (dogs, rescue)

Tea and Dog Biscuits: Our First Topsy-Turvy Year Fostering Orphan Dogs, by Barrie Hawkins (2010, Chicago Review Press, 254 pages, $14.95)

Tea and Dog Biscuits is the warm yet hilarious story of a country couple in England who decide to take in and re-home homeless, mostly German Shepherd dogs, to honor their elderly dog that recently passed away. The couple is not yet ready for another dog, but can provide for temporary canine visitors.

Dog rescues are plentiful in the US but what do we know of rescues in other countries? Do you know how to start a dog rescue?

Read about the young veterinarian who drives a puppy up from London rather than euthanize it, for a man whose girlfriend broke up with him and who now wants to retaliate by telling her the dog ran off.

Read the inspiring tales of the dying woman who wants her dog taken care of before she goes into the hospital for the last time, the homeless man who can no longer tend to his best friend, the junkyard dog who becomes a police K9, the dog who roams the roads after a man shoves him out of the car, the dog who spends more than 11 years living in a pen – and other seemingly horrendous stories of humanity’s inhumanity to our best friend that will inspire you.

However, Tea and Dog Biscuits is also a collection of the success stories from the couple’s first year and the wonderful families they help find the best-fitting dog for.

The Hawkins are good, good people. They take in dogs and, as much as possible, also accept those people who can’t be good to their dogs. The Hawkins love these dogs until they are ready to be re-homed – whether it is three weeks or several months later.

Tea also includes the mission statement this couple created with their beliefs and objectives. They post it on the door to be a daily reminder of why they do what they do.

Easily read as far as British books go (you can pretty well guess at vocabulary words like boot and barmy), Tea and Dog Biscuits will make you laugh and will inspire you well before you finish reading. You may just wish the book were longer than its 254 pages - I did!

(This review first appeared in GRREAT News, Jan-Feb 2012.)

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